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328d xDrive mini-review

Discussion in 'Diesel' started by floydarogers, Sep 22, 2014.

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    Thought I'd post a few thoughts on my wife's 328xd. She bought a demo car 3 months ago; we just got back from another longer trip and I've now had a few more miles in it to firm up opinions. (FYI, I've got a 2010 335d of my own.)
    What a great car! Fabulous mileage - we averaged over 48 mpg coming back from Pullman, WA to Bellevue - a distance of 290 miles. The route is not flat, with many rolls and a descent down to the Columbia River at 600' and then over Snoqualmie Pass at 3000'. We had no wind (quite unusual for this drive.) The car is much smoother riding than my 335d on these roads; somewhat below average in roughness in some spots, quite nice in others. The car gets much better mileage at 60 mph than at 75; probably could have achieved mid-50's at that speed.
    I really like the iDrive setup. However something's wrong with the Bluetooth integration as it has trouble loading my phone's phonebook while Judy's is connected, too. Unfortunately, the car had another episode today with the iDrive hanging; this after having the CIC replaced a month ago. Sigh: electronics. The Pirelli P7 SSR's are significantly quieter and softer than my 335d's sport package Michelin PS2 ZP - but they're 17" rather than 18", and a bit taller in profile. Of course it has the standard AWD/xDrive suspension, too. Steering is perhaps a bit light on-center; reminiscent of my '01 330xi (with the infamous "light" steering). But the car tracks very straight, and dodges if you want to dodge something. Holds on well in corners, etc. The car is definitely larger, but the park distance and camera are really swell. Trunk carries more stuff. Tons of legroom; our family (me:6', wife: 5'3", adult sons: 6'4" and 5'10") fit in the '01 330xi, more comfortably in my 335d, and are quite comfortable in the 328xd. Heated rear seats are going to be used, for sure. I don't like the non-sport seats (premium package leather) as much as the sports in both my previous cars. One thing I noticed (and the driving instructors are going to heckle me probably): when we're out on the open road running on cruise control, and I've pulled my feet up a bit, the driver's door pocket digs into my left calf while the center console's trim piece - which protrudes somewhat - kills my right calf. What's up with that? Seems like some of the conversation about BMW going "softer" and attempting to broaden their appeal is apparent. On other forums everyone's raving about: 1) mileage, 2) sport diesel wagon!, 3) how much better than Jetta/Passat, 4) all the other traditional BMW goodness, 5) mileage. It's a superb long-distance highway cruiser with enough power to pass on 2-lanes, and although it's not selling real well, I suspect it's doing it's job of broadening BMW's appeal and pushing to 2,000,000 sales per year.
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    Very nice write up on the new diesel, I to am a fan so far as long as the carbon issue doesn't come up again. Also hoping the VGT turbo doesn't go the way ford trucks did on the 6.0L.
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    Thanks for the writeup! Interesting that you note the comfort aspect of resting your legs on long runs. The transmission tunnel on my E92 is much narrower than my E30 & E34, & not necessarily for the better. Not only is there less room to access anything around the transmission from underneath, I also can't comfortably prop my right leg in a relaxed position against the center tunnel for cruise-control running & still keep the right foot at the ready over the gas pedal. Could keep my right leg in a relaxed, comfortable position for driving 13+ hrs in the E30 & E34 - can cruise comfortably enough in the E92 but I find I'm shifting both legs around all the time due to not being able to relax them against the sides. Safety concerns preclude having a cushion or something in the footwell area. Always interesting to note forward progress in some designs & areas, while simultaneously going backwards in others - it would appear the recent crop of BMW engineers have never experienced a 5 hr. non-stop road trip in an E34 to note such less-tangible aspects of form & function. I also felt compelled to cut the carpet apart in the E92 to remove the too-highly placed dead-pedal; fine for around town driving or somebody shorter, but at 6'3", that thing left me feeling like I was positioned on the table for a gynecological exam - ugh. And, there definitely was no room to stretch out the left leg to be comfortable for highway cruising - fixed now!
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